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Malik Maqbul or Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tilangani, was the Wazir or Prime Minister of the Delhi Sultanate, in the government of Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1351–1388 CE), in the Indian sub-continent.[1] Initially, he was the commander of Warangal Fort (Kataka paludu) located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, south India.[2]

Early life and background[]

After the fall of Warangal in 1323, the Kakatiya king Prataparudra and his trusted minister and commander Gannama Nayaka, also known as Yugandhar or Nagaya Ganna, were captured and taken to Delhi.[3] King Prataparudra committed suicide by drowning himself in the river Narmada. Yugandhar was converted to Islam and given the name Malik Maqbul.[4] Harihara Raya and Bukkaraya, treasurers in the court of Warangal were also captured and converted to Islam. Warangal was placed under the control of Burhanuddin, governor of Daulatabad. The rebellion led by Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka resulted in the liberation of large parts of Telugu country in 1326 CE. The full title of Maqbul was "Masnad-i-Aali Ulugh Qutlugh Azam-i-Humayun Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul".[5]


Malik Maqbul was initially made the governor of Multan and sent to administer Punjab.[6] He ruled Multan as his fief. The rebellion of Musunuri Nayaks in Andhra made the sultan to recall Maqbul and send him to Warangal.[7] He was made the governor of Eastern Telangana, reporting to the Tughlaq's governor of the Deccan, Quwwatuddin. When Warangal was recaptured by Musunuri Kaapanedu, Maqbul fled to Delhi.

Return to Delhi[]

After his return to Delhi, Maqbul earned the trust of Tughlaq. He accompanied the sultan on an expedition to Gujarat to subdue the rebels in Broach. He put all the rebels to death and captured enormous amount of wealth.[8] Subsequently, by making himself indispensable in the Delhi durbar (court), he became the finance minister and finally, the Wazir, of the Delhi Sultanate under Feroz Shah Tughlaq.[9] When Feroz Shah was away on a Campaign to Sind and Gujarat for six months and no news was available about his whereabouts Maqbul ably protected Delhi.[10] He was the most highly favoured among the significant number of the nobles in Feroz Shah's court and retained the trust of the sultan.[11] Feroz Shah used to call Maqbul as 'brother'. The sultan even remarked that Khan-i-Jahan was the real ruler of Delhi. The fiscal and general administration were entirely left to Maqbul. On his part, Maqbul never exceeded his powers, and kept the sultan fully informed. He was also scrupulously honest. Although he did take presents from the governors of the provinces, he entered them in the royal treasury. He was also strict in collecting government dues. His powers, however, were restricted by the auditor (mustaufi) and by the Accountant-General (mushrif). Sometimes it led to bitter disputes in which the sultan mediated.[12] On one occasion, Maqbul threatened to leave for Mecca when he came into conflict with Ain-i-Mahru, the Accountant General. Sultan had to retrench Ain-i-Mahru. Maqbul was paid annually 13 lakh tankas over and above the expenses of his army and servants and separate allowances for his sons and sons-in-law. Maqbul also maintained a retinue of 2000 concubines.[13]


Firoz Shah gave an undertaking that the position of Wazir will be inherited by Maqbul's son. After the death of Maqbul in 1369 CE, his son Jauna Khan became the Wazir.[14] Jauna Khan was as competent as his father but he was no military leader. He failed in the conflict for succession, which began even during the lifetime of Feroz Shah. Jauna Khan was captured and executed. Also known as Junan Shah, he built seven large mosques in and around Delhi of which Khirki Masjid is very well known.[15]

The seven Mosques are:

  • Khirki Mosque.
  • Begampur Mosque.
  • Masjid Kalu Sarai.
  • Kalan Masjid (Hazrat Nizamuddin).
  • Masjid Firoz Shah Kotla.
  • Masjid Wakya (Lahori gate).
  • Kalan Masjid (Turkaman gate).


Malik Maqbul's tomb in Delhi

Built in 1388 by Junan Shah (son of Malik Maqbul), his tomb [16][17][18] was the first octagonal mausoleum to be built in Delhi. The only other octagonal mausoleum that predates this tomb in the Indian subcontinent is the Tomb of Shah Rukn-i Alam in Multan. The mausoleum occupies the northwestern corner of Nizamuddin West.[19] The plan is composed of an octagonal burial chamber wrapped by a larger octagonal veranda. The verandah has three arched openings on each side, with a finial bearing cupola crowning the central arches. A large raised dome sits on top of the central chamber. While the parapet wall of the veranda is articulated with crenellations, a slanting stone overhang (chhajja) runs beneath it, encasing all sides of the structure. The main entry to the structure is through the central arch of its south façade. The walls of the chamber are substantially thick. The mihrab is set in a stepped niche on the west wall of the chamber. A stairwell leading to the crypt below is also built into the western wall and accessed from inside a doorway. A large rectangular sarcophagus sits centered in the chamber beneath the dome in a two tiered arrangement.


  1. "Malik Maqbul or Nagaya Ganna Vibhudu, Commander of Warangal under the Kakatiyas". 
  2. Sri Marana Markandeya Puranamu, ed. G. V. Subrahmanyam, 1984, Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy, Hyderabad
  3. Kammavari Charitra (in Telugu language) by Kotha Bhavaiah Chowdary, 1939. Revised Edition (2006), Pavuluri Publishers, Guntur
  4. A Forgotten Chapter of Andhra History by M. Somasekhara Sarma, 1945, Andhra University, Waltair
  5. Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, Vol. 1, by J L. Mehta, 1980, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi p 224
  6. A History of Telugu Literature, S. Krishnamurti, S. Hikosaka, J. Samuel, 1994, Institute of Asian Studies, Madras, p. 175
  7. An Oriental Biographical ictionary, T. H. Beale and H. G. Keene, 1894, W. H. Allen, p. 214
  8. The History of India, as told by its own Historians, Vol. III, H. M. Elliot, Adamant Media Corporation, p. 256, ISBN 1-4021-8212-0
  9. Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq by M. Ahmed, 1978, Chugh Publications, New Delhi p. 46 and 95
  10. A History of India, H. Kulke and D. Rothermund, 1998, Routledge, p.167, ISBN 0-415-15482-0
  11. The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, P. Jackson, 1999, Cambridge University Press, p. 186, ISBN 0-521-54329-0
  12. Medieval India; From Sultanat to the Mughals, S. Chandra, 2007, Har Anand Publications, p.122, ISBN 81-241-1064-6
  13. The Cambridge Economic History of India, T. Raychaudhuri and I. Habib, Orient Longman, 2005, p. 90, ISBN 81-250-2730-0
  14. Medieval India; From Sultanat to the Mughals, S. Chandra, 2007, Har Anand Publications, p.161, ISBN 81-241-1064-6
  15. Khirki Masjid:
  16. Khan-i Jahan Maqbul Tilangani Mausoleum
  17. Bunce, Fredrick W. 2004. Islamic Tombs in India: The Iconography and Genesis of Their Design. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld, 52-55
  18. Sharma, Y.D. 2001. Delhi and its Neighbourhood. New Delhi: Directory General Archaeological Survey of India, 27, 118.
  19. Tomb of Telanga nawab: Anon (1997) Delhi, The Capital of India; Asian Educational Services. pp. 85. ISBN 81-206-1282-5, 9788120612822

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